Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are the Newton's "Worth It"


I have been toying with the idea of returning my Newtons.  When I went to pick them up from Fleet Feet (where I ordered them from), I had them video my stride with both my regular running shoe (Saucony ProGrid Hurricane 11s).  In the Saucony, I don't over pronate...in the Newton my foot rolls in quite a bit (even with some heavy-duty orthotics).  Seeing that video has made me scared to run in them.  I don't want to get hurt!

The only day I have run in them...I only went about a half mile.  I changed shoes and ran another couple of miles in my regular shoes.  That was the day I also went to a spin class and Extreme Abs....and felt that "bee sting" sensation in my right calf.  I've been taking it somewhat easy since then.

I went to a running form clinic at Fleet Feet Monday night.  I talked to one of the "coaches" there about the Newtons because he has a pair that he really likes.  He said it just might not be "enough" shoe for me.

But, here's the thing....I really do believe in the idea that compensating for lack of muscle/strength with a shoe is NOT the best answer.  It has the feel of treating the symptom and not the cause.  The symptom is the over pronation, the cause (I think) is probably a combination of lack of strength and running form.  The problem is, I want to RUN and I don't completely know how to fix the problem.....and it's a lot easier to just run in the stability shoe that "corrects" the symptom to allow me to do what I want to do.

So, really it boils down to what I'm wanting more-to run, or to correct the real problem.  It would be MUCH harder, in my opinion to correct the problem.  According to the Newton site, there is an adjustment period required when switching over to their shoes.  They say:
WHY BOTHER (adjusting to the shoe)? Your connective tissue (muscle and tendon) and structure (the fine bones in your feet) need time to strengthen and adapt. Newtons allow your foot to feel the ground as if you were running barefoot. If you increase your running volume too quickly, you may experience calf tenderness.
That sounds right to me.  That sounds like what I want.  That sounds plausible and real and good.

AND...

That sounds hard.  That sounds like something that is going to hurt.  That sounds like frustration in the making.  That sounds like a lot of work.  Changing out my shoes that one day was really a pain.  I mean, it's not like it took a crazy amount of time or anything....but it was somewhat of a hassle.  It certainly wasn't as easy as just throwing on my Sauconys and taking off for three or so miles.

I think what it boils down to is this:  what do I really believe?  Do I really believe that my "connective tissue and structure (the fine bones in my feet) really WILL strengthen and adapt?  Do I really believe wearing these shoes will aide me in that process?  Is that extra strength worth it to me?  Is the value in that extra bit of strength and conditioning worth the cost?  More importantly....am I willing to pay the cost?

Sometimes a thing can be fully worth the cost associated and we still aren't willing to pay it.  Take the E550 Cabriolet Mercedes-Benz for example.  It's beauty, quality, safety features, and a few little added bonus features really do make it WORTH the $84,315 price tag.  Would I be willing to pay it?  Not right now, probably not ever....but it is worth it.

So, IF I believe the claims made by Newton enthusiasts (the jury is still out on that one...but IF I do), is the cost of some additional time to adjust, the hassle of switching out shoes in order to complete a run, and the almost certain pain to come from the conditioning and strengthening of my "connective tissue" worth that extra bit of strength and conditioning?  ...To be clear...I'm really not taking about the price tag of the shoe.  But, if I'm not willing to pay the non-financial costs associated then I shouldn't hold on to the shoes and just go ahead and get a refund.

(Well, I'd actually trade them in for a pair of stability trail shoes!)

Well...thanks for listening to my inner lament of the day; come again soon!
:D

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